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What makes Animal Biology at the University of Worcester special?

Our Animal Biology degree has a strong practical emphasis, designed to prepare you for an exciting career in this fascinating field. This applied approach alongside our science personal development planning (PDP) scheme is designed to enhance your skills and expertise to boost your graduate employability.

From animal behaviour to microbiology, our course explores the wonders of the animal kingdom and the natural world. You'll learn about the fundamentals of biology, from the functioning of a single cell right up to the processes that control reproduction and survival in complex organisms.

In your final year, you will take part in an independent project which is not offered by all UK Biology courses to showcase your development and set you apart from other graduates. Our modules also reflect some of the major challenges facing society today, including the environment, global agriculture and international economic dynamics.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Explore the wonders of the animal kingdom: from single cells up to the processes that control reproduction and survival in the most complex organisms
  • Shape a degree to suit you - build a firm foundation in core principles, whilst selecting from a wide range of optional modules.These include animal behaviour, genomics and animal senses.
  • Follow your interests and career aspirations by choosing your Research Project. Past studies have looked at DNA extractions from faeces of the Western Lowland Gorilla, the effect of raptors on roosting behaviour of waders, and the distribution and abundance of snakes in degraded forests in Madagascar.
  • This degree is Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.


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University of the Year - Finalist 2020

We're proud to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education University of the Year for the second year running.

Find out more
Royal Society of Biology accredited degree logo

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers.

The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

"I really enjoyed being at a smaller university with smaller class sizes, getting the attention of the professors and the support of the University and the staff."

Tiffany Slater, Biology graduate, originally from Kentucky.

Student views

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff

96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology and A2 another science, maths or statistics.

104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology.

Don't quite meet the entry requirements or returning to education? Consider studying a Biological Science with Foundation Year.

Other information

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.

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Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Virtual Taster Event

If you are interested in studying Biological Sciences (Animal Biology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Forensic & Applied Biology, Human Biology, Human Nutrition, Medical Sciences) with us and want to know more, then please join us for this taster event where you can learn about Worcester University and the courses and take part in taster sessions with lecturers who will introduce you to the studying Biological Sciences at University level.

The next event is due to take place on 16th December 4.00-6.00pm and to book your place, please visit the booking page here.

Time

Activity 

Person

16:00 – 16:10

An introduction to Biological Sciences at the University of Worcester

Mike Wheeler

16:10 – 16:30

Course Talk with interactive Chat Room

Mike Wheeler,

Kate Unwin

16:30 – 16:50

Teaching through practice – Using our experience as Forensic Practitioners to inspire students

Kate Unwin

16:50-17:00

Break

 

17:00 – 17:20

Why do Bees Matter?

Kate Ashbrook

17:20 – 17:40

Your Immune System – a Natural Killer!

Steve Coles

17:40 – 18:00

Live Q&A with course team and current students

Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Animal Diversity
  • Cell Biology
  • Comparative Animal Physiology

Optional

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Molecular Genetics and Conservation
  • Project and Career Development

Optional

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Research Project
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Physiological Ecology

Optional

  • Work Experience
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Animal Movement
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics 
  • Animal Welfare and Ethics 
  • Extension Module
  • Parasitology
  • International Biology Field Trip
  • Mediterranean Environments Field Course
  • Zoo-based conservation

In the first year the modules allow you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the key elements of the subject. In Years 2 and 3 the topics become more specialised and our modular scheme allows you to focus on the aspects of animal life which you find most interesting, ranging from animal behaviour to eco-physiology. A strong practical emphasis runs throughout the course, complementing a traditional approach to learning and giving you the chance to develop the practical skills which could be of great value in later employment.

In your final year you will undertake a Research Project on a subject of your choice, having been well prepared for this by a Project and Career Development module in Year 2. Past studies have included topics such as a comparison of two methods of DNA extractions from faeces of the Western Lowland Gorilla, the effect of raptors on roosting behavior of waders, and the distribution and abundance of snakes in degraded forests in Madagascar.

View the Biology Programmes Overview.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, practical work, field work, video presentations, group tutorials, discussions, directed reading, and formative assessments. The first year also includes study skills sessions. The course is very practical and offers you the opportunity to undertake an independent project in your third year. The emphasis on the development of 'hands on' practical skills will provide you with useful skills for your future career.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to take a work experience module in your second or third year, to engage with an Erasmus scheme and spend a semester abroad, or to become involved in staff research through the Vacation Research Assistantship Scheme.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 16 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of supervised laboratory practicals
  • 1 hour of group workshops
  • 1 hour of Study Skills (first year only)

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 27 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve going over your lecture notes and reading around the topic in order to reinforce the content, completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. You will mainly be taught by senior academics, but visiting speakers with specialised expertise may deliver some sessions. Technicians support practical sessions.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and 93 per cent of course lecturers in the Biological Sciences have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Twenty per cent also have Teaching Fellowships from the University of Worcester. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include practical reports, presentations, posters, on-line activities, essays and examinations (which may be practical, written, data analysis, seen exams or open book exams).

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • 6 practical reports
  • 1 practical file
  • 4 exams of 1 - 2 hours duration
  • 1 In-class test
  • 1 practical test
  • 2 presentations (individual or group)

Year 2

  • 1 practical report
  • 1 in-class test
  • 3 exams of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
  • 1 poster presentation
  • 2 oral presentations
  • 1 action plan
  • 1 reflective diary
  • 1 practical test
  • 1 practical exam
  • 1 practical handbook
  • 1 bioinformatics handbook
  • 1 data analysis exam
  • 3 Essays
  • 1 literature portfolio
  • 1 Critical analysis of scientific paper
  • 1 research proposal
  • 1 CV and mock job interview

Year 3

  • 1 Independent study report
  • 1 poster presentation
  • 1 oral presentation
  • 5 examinations of 1.5 or 2 hours duration
  • 1 open book exam
  • 1 literature review
  • 3 practical reports/file
  • 1 scientific review article
  • 3 literature portfolios

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet The Team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Peter

Professor Peter Seville

In 2019, Peter joined University of Worcester as Professor and Head of the School of Science and the Environment, where he manages staff delivering a diverse range of courses including biochemistry, biomedical science, human nutrition and pharmacology.  In this role Peter is also supporting the establishment of a new Medical School at the University.

Peter's interests and experiences cover a diverse range, including: human health in his role as a pharmacist; animal health through his education in veterinary pharmacy; pharmaceutical science particularly the aerosolisation of medicines into the lung arising from his research; and law both in his role as a Justice of the Peace and as the law relates to health care.

dr-kate-ashbrook

Dr Kate Ashbrook

Kate's background includes four years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Bath and a period as a field researcher for the Canadian Wildlife Service where she contributed to long-term monitoring of a seabird colony in Nunavut, Canada.

Her research interests focus on using modelling to understand the dynamics of ecological systems and inform conservation management.

Chris Brown is standing next to a car holding a cup of tea

Dr Chris Brown

Chris studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Following completion of his Honours degree, he joined the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology where he worked on their sub-Antarctic programme for several years, which included over two years carrying out research on the energetics and ecology of penguins, albatrosses and petrels on Marion Island in the sub-Antarctic.

Animal Biology degree graduate Rob Shotton

Former Shop Keeper Discovers a Talent for Academia on His Journey to Become a Zoo Keeper

A shop keeper who dreamt of becoming a zoo keeper has discovered a talent for academia, which has resulted in him being awarded Best Research Paper of the Year by a leading science journal.

Rob Shotton, who left school with no qualifications due to health problems, joined the University of Worcester’s Animal Biology degree at the age of 30 with hopes of pursuing a new career with animals.

Animal Biology degree graduate Shannon Bolton

Shannon Bolton

Shannon Bolton achieved a First Class degree in Animal Biology, she has now gained a coveted place at Bristol Veterinary School to study Veterinary Science.

With her degree from Worcester, Shannon was able to take the Accelerated Graduate Entry Programme for Veterinary Science, meaning her studies will take four-years instead of the usual five.

Once qualified, Shannon plans to start off in mixed practice before eventually specialising in small animal cardiology.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

Our Animal Biology degree will prepare you for a range of careers, including:

  • Wildlife trust officer/reserve officer
  • Conservation officer
  • Scientific advisor
  • Clinical trials data manager
  • Teaching and education
  • Progression to further study, such as a PhD
Animal Biology degree graduate Meera Solanki

Meera Solanki

Meera Solanki achieved two Academic Scholarship Awards during her studies at the University, in recognition of her top grades. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Animal Biology.

“Three years ago I wasn’t sure about going to university so if someone had told me back then that I would achieve this, I wouldn’t have believed them,” said the 21-year-old, from Solihull. “I hope to go on to study a Master’s in Biomedicine, researching human diseases including their causes and development.”

Read Meera’s story

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £13,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK students registering on this course in the academic year 2021/22 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module, £2,313 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £105 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £169 per week (2020/21 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

In addition to being intrinsically fascinating, the study of animal biology is becoming increasingly important to our understanding of significant aspects of the environment, agriculture and the wider economy.

Dr Rob Herbert, Head of Applied Sciences

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Animal Biology BSc (Hons) - D300

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS Code

D300

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Lorraine Weaver

Head of Biological Sciences

SSE Academic Support Unit